We pass so many people during the day that we work with, worship with, see on our biking or running routes... but have no idea how their life is going. We don't know their fears, their joys, their wants. We just pass, smile, say hi, how's it goin', and then we are back-to, our cursory response "fines" and "ok's" wafting in the air as we grow farther away from each other down the hall, down the trail, down the highway.
There was a woman in the next door classroom the other day who had never subbed in the county before. I familiarized her with the school's procedures and the kids in the class. At lunchtime she came in and we struck up a conversation. Turns out, she and her nine-year-old son had been living in Houston. She moved to Commerce area to be near family because Hurricane Ike blew the roof of the apartment complex off and they lost their home and all their belongings. "It's hard to start over in this economy," she said, gazing out the window quietly. I can imagine.
She smiled and said that she was looking for any work, any work at all, as long as it is steady. "I have to feed my son," she said.
We just never know what someone is going through. We never know.